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Mar 21, 1999 03:03 PM
by Peter Merriott
<<Jerry, if we have to ask, we don't know. >> > Agreed. But maybe there are a few who do ask, and > it is to them only that I say these things. Anyone who > feels unready or unworthy obviously still has work to do, > and can kindly disregard all my postings on the topic of > liberation. > Jerry S Jerry, We were discussing HPB's reference to the 'Srotopatti', one who 'enters the stream'. I mentioned it because it is the only thing HPB says that I could find which comes anywhere near your 'single-lifetime enlightenment/liberation' view. The chela is said to have only seven more successive lives from this point on. The final one being where the chela, or rather Initiate at that stage, either enters or renounces Nirvana. You wrote: >>> Another point I keep trying to make > is that maybe this IS out 7th. > How do we know that it is not? What I meant to reply was - "If we have to ask then it isn't." But the answer I gave is good enough. The reason for this is plain if we relect upon what HPB was refering to. HPB informs us in The Glossary in Part 3 of The Voice of the Silence that the Srotopatti is the first of the Four Paths leading to 'Enlightenment'. These Four Paths are also mentioned in the Secret Doctrine, qouted below, where HPB explain they are related to the grades of Initiation. She points out that while there are four grades mentioned in the exoteric works, esoterically they number seven: "There are four grades of initiation mentioned in exoteric works, which are known respectively in Sanskrit as "Scrotapanna," "Sagardagan," "Anagamin," and "Arhan" -- the four paths to Nirvana, in this, our fourth Round, bearing the same appellations. The Arhan, though he can see the Past, the Present, and the Future, is not yet the highest Initiate; for the Adept himself, the initiated candidate, becomes chela (pupil) to a higher Initiate. Three further higher grades have to be conquered by the Arhan who would reach the apex of the ladder of Arhatship. There are those who have reached it even in this fifth race of ours, but the faculties necessary for the attainment of these higher grades will be fully developed in the average ascetic only at the end of this Root-Race, and in the Sixth and Seventh. Thus there will always be Initiates and the Profane till the end of this minor Manvantara, the present life-cycle." HPB points out that the grades of Initiation are in turn intimately connected with the spiritual, mental and 'physical' evolution of humanity in this, our fourth, round. The highest grade of initiation being the highest form of Adeptship on our world. From this I would suggest that the true Initiate would not only 'care' but would very definitely KNOW if this incarnation was his 'seventh life'. Where does your statement about feeling "unready" or "unworthy" fit into all of this? On what basis do you feel you might be on your 'seventh life', but just don't know it? Regards Peter -- THEOSOPHY WORLD -- Theosophical Talk -- firstname.lastname@example.org Letters to the Editor, and discussion of theosophical ideas and teachings. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message consisting of "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" to email@example.com.